The performing arts at Oakland Tech include Drama, Dance and Music – but that just begins to describe the wealth of offerings for students interested in the performing arts. Within each discipline there are classes on different levels and subjects; drama classes that integrate English studies; music offerings in solo instruments, jazz, orchestra … In an era of budget cuts and neglect of the arts in public education, Tech is particularly proud to showcase its arts classes and to offer its students the very best in arts education!
There are many reasons why performing arts education is critical. Performing arts allow children to express themselves in a safe, positive medium, even when they’re expressing themselves about emotionally difficult subjects. The arts demand creativity, perseverance, and problem solving. They require hard work and build discipline, which carry into other aspects of a student’s school (and personal) life. Students who work closely together in the arts develop an appreciation for other students whom they might never have met, let alone become close to. Students who receive high levels of arts training are more cooperative and more willing to share what they have learned; they are more able to express their ideas, use their imaginations and take risks in learning. If a school places a high value on the arts, the arts contribute to the whole school; they improve learning for all students and even extend to the school’s neighborhood and community.
But let’s let some of Tech’s students speak for themselves about what their performing arts education has meant to them:
“I’m so glad that this is a place where everyone can come and be safe. It’s always been family here.”
“Being able to be part of the OakTechRep cast of Hamlet: Blood in the Brain is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It is a challenge while having fun. It’s about doing what you need to do and not what you want to do, and if you want something so much like how we wanted to go to Scotland, you can get it as long as you are able to put in the time and work hard for it to happen.”
“Being here has taught me to seize every opportunity and has opened other doors that I never thought would be open. Have a variety of options, so you’re never stuck in one place. I’ve become a strong, confident, powerful community-based person. We have our own little community here and we’re portraying through our performance for the rest of the community. “
“Tech Techies really helped me branch off and get out of my comfort zone. I met people I would not have come near prior to Tech Techies.”
“In middle school, I was bad and got in a lot of trouble. … this just changed everything. People liked my character and my acting, and they liked me. It showed another side of me, a side I always wanted to come out. Basically, it’s shaping me into the person I want to be.”
“This is where I come to be loved. …I’m just so glad I can come here and have this positive place.”